Spring Branding on the Vold Ranch | TheFencePost.com

Spring Branding on the Vold Ranch

Tony Bruguiere
Ft. Collins, Colo.

Tony BruguiereA newly branded and gelded colt joins others in the pasture. Each year Harry Vold hopes that one of these colts will become a champion.

The moment you cross the Huerfano River in southeastern Colorado and pull up to the red gate, you know you are about to enter a special place. On the fence is the iconic black metal sign of the bucking horse and the HV brand of Harry Vold. If you look closer you will see a metal plaque that reads “Two Champs – Ty Murray on Bobby Joe Skoal.” The sign was presented to Harry Vold at his induction into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1994.

A little farther down the ranch road you will see the well known Rattlesnake Butte sign. As you pull up to the ranch house you see the famous black parade horses of the National Finals Rodeo and Harry’s black arena horse.

Entering the Vold house is like entering a museum. Everywhere you look there are trophies, pictures and memories of Harry Vold’s 60 years in professional rodeo. Prominently displayed in the center of one room is a table that has glass on top of a wooden wagon wheel. Between the spokes of the wheel are trophy buckles that Harry and Karen Vold have won over the years. On one wall are nine of the silver accented halters that the PRCA awards to the Bucking Horse of the Year.

As you come in the front door there is a glass topped coffee table holding the 11 buckles that the PRCA has awarded to Harry Vold as the Stock Contractor of the Year. There are two mounted heads in tribute to exceptional bucking bulls that Harry has owned – 777, the 1979 and 1980 PRCA Bull of the Year, and Crooked Nose, the best known and most feared fighting bull in the PRCA.

Harry Vold has been named PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year 11 times. You do not get to that level without having a consistent string of bucking horses available for major rodeos. “We are never sure what we are going to get in a foal,” Harry says, “You’re never sure what’s on a horse’s mind. It takes a certain kind of horse to be a bucker. Consistency is everything in a bucking horse. A lot of horses will buck once and never buck again. They have to want to buck and those that do really enjoy it. There’s only a handful that really turn out.”

But Harry has to keep searching for those really good buckers. This year, 75 stallions that are 1 and 2 years old started the process of auditioning to join the Vold Rodeo Company.

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For two or three years the colts have been running free, without too much human intervention, on one of the large pastures on the Vold Ranch. Now it is time to start earning the investment that Harry has in them.

Harry Vold makes all the decisions regarding which horses are to be left intact for future breeding and which will be gelded or “cut.” Currently there are seven breeding stallions on the ranch. All of the 75 colts gathered up today will leave as geldings.

When there is a big job to do on a ranch, it is not unusual for friends to come in and help. What makes Harry Vold’s branding such an event is that the friends that come in to help are some of the top working cowboys in the country.

Johnny Holloway and his son Chuck Holloway came down from South Dakota. Johnny Holloway will be gelding or “cutting” the colts today. Asked about how he got started with the Volds, Johnny Holloway said, “I’ve know Harry for a long time, and about 10 or so years ago, he called me up and was real sad because he had a vet out doing some cutting for him and the vet had given his horses something real strong to put them down so he could work on them and three of them never got up.” Holloway continued, “Harry said that he didn’t know what to do because he couldn’t keep having this kind of loss. I told him he could have me and Chuck come down and do it. That was that and Harry has never lost a horse due to bad cutting since.”

Asked what he does differently, Holloway said, “We do it the old-fashioned way – the way cowboys did it a hundred years ago. We rope the horses for one thing. Squeeze chutes scare a horse half to death. We use oral penicillin, but we don’t use any drugs to knock a horse out. We make a small cut in the bag and remove the testicles. You have to make sure that you get the ‘stallion seed’ or you will have a male horse that still has the temperament of a stallion but is not functional. Then we flood the bag with kerosene and leave it open to drain. The kerosene stops the pain, holds down infection, and prevents scarring.”

Chuck Holloway heads an impressive list of cowboys that worked as ropers in the pens. Brad Churchill, Mark Bukowski, Scotty Hall, Gail Allen, Rick Tune and Gary Hall are among those who handled the roping duties and there were too many good cowboys working the ground crew to list.

I asked Mark Bukowski, a director for the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA), about the differences in roping horses and cattle, Mark said, “It’s basically the same in that you head and heel them both, but cattle are slower and when you catch them, you get a brute force reaction. With a horse, not only are they faster, but they change direction quicker. When you do catch them, they are strong and they are everywhere – it’s like having a marlin on the end of your rope. Also, you need to make sure you are riding a calm horse that has been used for horse work before. Horses are herd animals and what they see and hear in the pen can make them real jumpy.”

The Vold Ranch is a special place because of the family and the rodeo history that is there, but what really makes it special is the respect that these top working cowboys give to Harry Vold, “The Duke of the Chutes.”

The moment you cross the Huerfano River in southeastern Colorado and pull up to the red gate, you know you are about to enter a special place. On the fence is the iconic black metal sign of the bucking horse and the HV brand of Harry Vold. If you look closer you will see a metal plaque that reads “Two Champs – Ty Murray on Bobby Joe Skoal.” The sign was presented to Harry Vold at his induction into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1994.

A little farther down the ranch road you will see the well known Rattlesnake Butte sign. As you pull up to the ranch house you see the famous black parade horses of the National Finals Rodeo and Harry’s black arena horse.

Entering the Vold house is like entering a museum. Everywhere you look there are trophies, pictures and memories of Harry Vold’s 60 years in professional rodeo. Prominently displayed in the center of one room is a table that has glass on top of a wooden wagon wheel. Between the spokes of the wheel are trophy buckles that Harry and Karen Vold have won over the years. On one wall are nine of the silver accented halters that the PRCA awards to the Bucking Horse of the Year.

As you come in the front door there is a glass topped coffee table holding the 11 buckles that the PRCA has awarded to Harry Vold as the Stock Contractor of the Year. There are two mounted heads in tribute to exceptional bucking bulls that Harry has owned – 777, the 1979 and 1980 PRCA Bull of the Year, and Crooked Nose, the best known and most feared fighting bull in the PRCA.

Harry Vold has been named PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year 11 times. You do not get to that level without having a consistent string of bucking horses available for major rodeos. “We are never sure what we are going to get in a foal,” Harry says, “You’re never sure what’s on a horse’s mind. It takes a certain kind of horse to be a bucker. Consistency is everything in a bucking horse. A lot of horses will buck once and never buck again. They have to want to buck and those that do really enjoy it. There’s only a handful that really turn out.”

But Harry has to keep searching for those really good buckers. This year, 75 stallions that are 1 and 2 years old started the process of auditioning to join the Vold Rodeo Company.

For two or three years the colts have been running free, without too much human intervention, on one of the large pastures on the Vold Ranch. Now it is time to start earning the investment that Harry has in them.

Harry Vold makes all the decisions regarding which horses are to be left intact for future breeding and which will be gelded or “cut.” Currently there are seven breeding stallions on the ranch. All of the 75 colts gathered up today will leave as geldings.

When there is a big job to do on a ranch, it is not unusual for friends to come in and help. What makes Harry Vold’s branding such an event is that the friends that come in to help are some of the top working cowboys in the country.

Johnny Holloway and his son Chuck Holloway came down from South Dakota. Johnny Holloway will be gelding or “cutting” the colts today. Asked about how he got started with the Volds, Johnny Holloway said, “I’ve know Harry for a long time, and about 10 or so years ago, he called me up and was real sad because he had a vet out doing some cutting for him and the vet had given his horses something real strong to put them down so he could work on them and three of them never got up.” Holloway continued, “Harry said that he didn’t know what to do because he couldn’t keep having this kind of loss. I told him he could have me and Chuck come down and do it. That was that and Harry has never lost a horse due to bad cutting since.”

Asked what he does differently, Holloway said, “We do it the old-fashioned way – the way cowboys did it a hundred years ago. We rope the horses for one thing. Squeeze chutes scare a horse half to death. We use oral penicillin, but we don’t use any drugs to knock a horse out. We make a small cut in the bag and remove the testicles. You have to make sure that you get the ‘stallion seed’ or you will have a male horse that still has the temperament of a stallion but is not functional. Then we flood the bag with kerosene and leave it open to drain. The kerosene stops the pain, holds down infection, and prevents scarring.”

Chuck Holloway heads an impressive list of cowboys that worked as ropers in the pens. Brad Churchill, Mark Bukowski, Scotty Hall, Gail Allen, Rick Tune and Gary Hall are among those who handled the roping duties and there were too many good cowboys working the ground crew to list.

I asked Mark Bukowski, a director for the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA), about the differences in roping horses and cattle, Mark said, “It’s basically the same in that you head and heel them both, but cattle are slower and when you catch them, you get a brute force reaction. With a horse, not only are they faster, but they change direction quicker. When you do catch them, they are strong and they are everywhere – it’s like having a marlin on the end of your rope. Also, you need to make sure you are riding a calm horse that has been used for horse work before. Horses are herd animals and what they see and hear in the pen can make them real jumpy.”

The Vold Ranch is a special place because of the family and the rodeo history that is there, but what really makes it special is the respect that these top working cowboys give to Harry Vold, “The Duke of the Chutes.”

The moment you cross the Huerfano River in southeastern Colorado and pull up to the red gate, you know you are about to enter a special place. On the fence is the iconic black metal sign of the bucking horse and the HV brand of Harry Vold. If you look closer you will see a metal plaque that reads “Two Champs – Ty Murray on Bobby Joe Skoal.” The sign was presented to Harry Vold at his induction into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1994.

A little farther down the ranch road you will see the well known Rattlesnake Butte sign. As you pull up to the ranch house you see the famous black parade horses of the National Finals Rodeo and Harry’s black arena horse.

Entering the Vold house is like entering a museum. Everywhere you look there are trophies, pictures and memories of Harry Vold’s 60 years in professional rodeo. Prominently displayed in the center of one room is a table that has glass on top of a wooden wagon wheel. Between the spokes of the wheel are trophy buckles that Harry and Karen Vold have won over the years. On one wall are nine of the silver accented halters that the PRCA awards to the Bucking Horse of the Year.

As you come in the front door there is a glass topped coffee table holding the 11 buckles that the PRCA has awarded to Harry Vold as the Stock Contractor of the Year. There are two mounted heads in tribute to exceptional bucking bulls that Harry has owned – 777, the 1979 and 1980 PRCA Bull of the Year, and Crooked Nose, the best known and most feared fighting bull in the PRCA.

Harry Vold has been named PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year 11 times. You do not get to that level without having a consistent string of bucking horses available for major rodeos. “We are never sure what we are going to get in a foal,” Harry says, “You’re never sure what’s on a horse’s mind. It takes a certain kind of horse to be a bucker. Consistency is everything in a bucking horse. A lot of horses will buck once and never buck again. They have to want to buck and those that do really enjoy it. There’s only a handful that really turn out.”

But Harry has to keep searching for those really good buckers. This year, 75 stallions that are 1 and 2 years old started the process of auditioning to join the Vold Rodeo Company.

For two or three years the colts have been running free, without too much human intervention, on one of the large pastures on the Vold Ranch. Now it is time to start earning the investment that Harry has in them.

Harry Vold makes all the decisions regarding which horses are to be left intact for future breeding and which will be gelded or “cut.” Currently there are seven breeding stallions on the ranch. All of the 75 colts gathered up today will leave as geldings.

When there is a big job to do on a ranch, it is not unusual for friends to come in and help. What makes Harry Vold’s branding such an event is that the friends that come in to help are some of the top working cowboys in the country.

Johnny Holloway and his son Chuck Holloway came down from South Dakota. Johnny Holloway will be gelding or “cutting” the colts today. Asked about how he got started with the Volds, Johnny Holloway said, “I’ve know Harry for a long time, and about 10 or so years ago, he called me up and was real sad because he had a vet out doing some cutting for him and the vet had given his horses something real strong to put them down so he could work on them and three of them never got up.” Holloway continued, “Harry said that he didn’t know what to do because he couldn’t keep having this kind of loss. I told him he could have me and Chuck come down and do it. That was that and Harry has never lost a horse due to bad cutting since.”

Asked what he does differently, Holloway said, “We do it the old-fashioned way – the way cowboys did it a hundred years ago. We rope the horses for one thing. Squeeze chutes scare a horse half to death. We use oral penicillin, but we don’t use any drugs to knock a horse out. We make a small cut in the bag and remove the testicles. You have to make sure that you get the ‘stallion seed’ or you will have a male horse that still has the temperament of a stallion but is not functional. Then we flood the bag with kerosene and leave it open to drain. The kerosene stops the pain, holds down infection, and prevents scarring.”

Chuck Holloway heads an impressive list of cowboys that worked as ropers in the pens. Brad Churchill, Mark Bukowski, Scotty Hall, Gail Allen, Rick Tune and Gary Hall are among those who handled the roping duties and there were too many good cowboys working the ground crew to list.

I asked Mark Bukowski, a director for the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA), about the differences in roping horses and cattle, Mark said, “It’s basically the same in that you head and heel them both, but cattle are slower and when you catch them, you get a brute force reaction. With a horse, not only are they faster, but they change direction quicker. When you do catch them, they are strong and they are everywhere – it’s like having a marlin on the end of your rope. Also, you need to make sure you are riding a calm horse that has been used for horse work before. Horses are herd animals and what they see and hear in the pen can make them real jumpy.”

The Vold Ranch is a special place because of the family and the rodeo history that is there, but what really makes it special is the respect that these top working cowboys give to Harry Vold, “The Duke of the Chutes.”

The moment you cross the Huerfano River in southeastern Colorado and pull up to the red gate, you know you are about to enter a special place. On the fence is the iconic black metal sign of the bucking horse and the HV brand of Harry Vold. If you look closer you will see a metal plaque that reads “Two Champs – Ty Murray on Bobby Joe Skoal.” The sign was presented to Harry Vold at his induction into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1994.

A little farther down the ranch road you will see the well known Rattlesnake Butte sign. As you pull up to the ranch house you see the famous black parade horses of the National Finals Rodeo and Harry’s black arena horse.

Entering the Vold house is like entering a museum. Everywhere you look there are trophies, pictures and memories of Harry Vold’s 60 years in professional rodeo. Prominently displayed in the center of one room is a table that has glass on top of a wooden wagon wheel. Between the spokes of the wheel are trophy buckles that Harry and Karen Vold have won over the years. On one wall are nine of the silver accented halters that the PRCA awards to the Bucking Horse of the Year.

As you come in the front door there is a glass topped coffee table holding the 11 buckles that the PRCA has awarded to Harry Vold as the Stock Contractor of the Year. There are two mounted heads in tribute to exceptional bucking bulls that Harry has owned – 777, the 1979 and 1980 PRCA Bull of the Year, and Crooked Nose, the best known and most feared fighting bull in the PRCA.

Harry Vold has been named PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year 11 times. You do not get to that level without having a consistent string of bucking horses available for major rodeos. “We are never sure what we are going to get in a foal,” Harry says, “You’re never sure what’s on a horse’s mind. It takes a certain kind of horse to be a bucker. Consistency is everything in a bucking horse. A lot of horses will buck once and never buck again. They have to want to buck and those that do really enjoy it. There’s only a handful that really turn out.”

But Harry has to keep searching for those really good buckers. This year, 75 stallions that are 1 and 2 years old started the process of auditioning to join the Vold Rodeo Company.

For two or three years the colts have been running free, without too much human intervention, on one of the large pastures on the Vold Ranch. Now it is time to start earning the investment that Harry has in them.

Harry Vold makes all the decisions regarding which horses are to be left intact for future breeding and which will be gelded or “cut.” Currently there are seven breeding stallions on the ranch. All of the 75 colts gathered up today will leave as geldings.

When there is a big job to do on a ranch, it is not unusual for friends to come in and help. What makes Harry Vold’s branding such an event is that the friends that come in to help are some of the top working cowboys in the country.

Johnny Holloway and his son Chuck Holloway came down from South Dakota. Johnny Holloway will be gelding or “cutting” the colts today. Asked about how he got started with the Volds, Johnny Holloway said, “I’ve know Harry for a long time, and about 10 or so years ago, he called me up and was real sad because he had a vet out doing some cutting for him and the vet had given his horses something real strong to put them down so he could work on them and three of them never got up.” Holloway continued, “Harry said that he didn’t know what to do because he couldn’t keep having this kind of loss. I told him he could have me and Chuck come down and do it. That was that and Harry has never lost a horse due to bad cutting since.”

Asked what he does differently, Holloway said, “We do it the old-fashioned way – the way cowboys did it a hundred years ago. We rope the horses for one thing. Squeeze chutes scare a horse half to death. We use oral penicillin, but we don’t use any drugs to knock a horse out. We make a small cut in the bag and remove the testicles. You have to make sure that you get the ‘stallion seed’ or you will have a male horse that still has the temperament of a stallion but is not functional. Then we flood the bag with kerosene and leave it open to drain. The kerosene stops the pain, holds down infection, and prevents scarring.”

Chuck Holloway heads an impressive list of cowboys that worked as ropers in the pens. Brad Churchill, Mark Bukowski, Scotty Hall, Gail Allen, Rick Tune and Gary Hall are among those who handled the roping duties and there were too many good cowboys working the ground crew to list.

I asked Mark Bukowski, a director for the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA), about the differences in roping horses and cattle, Mark said, “It’s basically the same in that you head and heel them both, but cattle are slower and when you catch them, you get a brute force reaction. With a horse, not only are they faster, but they change direction quicker. When you do catch them, they are strong and they are everywhere – it’s like having a marlin on the end of your rope. Also, you need to make sure you are riding a calm horse that has been used for horse work before. Horses are herd animals and what they see and hear in the pen can make them real jumpy.”

The Vold Ranch is a special place because of the family and the rodeo history that is there, but what really makes it special is the respect that these top working cowboys give to Harry Vold, “The Duke of the Chutes.”

The moment you cross the Huerfano River in southeastern Colorado and pull up to the red gate, you know you are about to enter a special place. On the fence is the iconic black metal sign of the bucking horse and the HV brand of Harry Vold. If you look closer you will see a metal plaque that reads “Two Champs – Ty Murray on Bobby Joe Skoal.” The sign was presented to Harry Vold at his induction into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1994.

A little farther down the ranch road you will see the well known Rattlesnake Butte sign. As you pull up to the ranch house you see the famous black parade horses of the National Finals Rodeo and Harry’s black arena horse.

Entering the Vold house is like entering a museum. Everywhere you look there are trophies, pictures and memories of Harry Vold’s 60 years in professional rodeo. Prominently displayed in the center of one room is a table that has glass on top of a wooden wagon wheel. Between the spokes of the wheel are trophy buckles that Harry and Karen Vold have won over the years. On one wall are nine of the silver accented halters that the PRCA awards to the Bucking Horse of the Year.

As you come in the front door there is a glass topped coffee table holding the 11 buckles that the PRCA has awarded to Harry Vold as the Stock Contractor of the Year. There are two mounted heads in tribute to exceptional bucking bulls that Harry has owned – 777, the 1979 and 1980 PRCA Bull of the Year, and Crooked Nose, the best known and most feared fighting bull in the PRCA.

Harry Vold has been named PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year 11 times. You do not get to that level without having a consistent string of bucking horses available for major rodeos. “We are never sure what we are going to get in a foal,” Harry says, “You’re never sure what’s on a horse’s mind. It takes a certain kind of horse to be a bucker. Consistency is everything in a bucking horse. A lot of horses will buck once and never buck again. They have to want to buck and those that do really enjoy it. There’s only a handful that really turn out.”

But Harry has to keep searching for those really good buckers. This year, 75 stallions that are 1 and 2 years old started the process of auditioning to join the Vold Rodeo Company.

For two or three years the colts have been running free, without too much human intervention, on one of the large pastures on the Vold Ranch. Now it is time to start earning the investment that Harry has in them.

Harry Vold makes all the decisions regarding which horses are to be left intact for future breeding and which will be gelded or “cut.” Currently there are seven breeding stallions on the ranch. All of the 75 colts gathered up today will leave as geldings.

When there is a big job to do on a ranch, it is not unusual for friends to come in and help. What makes Harry Vold’s branding such an event is that the friends that come in to help are some of the top working cowboys in the country.

Johnny Holloway and his son Chuck Holloway came down from South Dakota. Johnny Holloway will be gelding or “cutting” the colts today. Asked about how he got started with the Volds, Johnny Holloway said, “I’ve know Harry for a long time, and about 10 or so years ago, he called me up and was real sad because he had a vet out doing some cutting for him and the vet had given his horses something real strong to put them down so he could work on them and three of them never got up.” Holloway continued, “Harry said that he didn’t know what to do because he couldn’t keep having this kind of loss. I told him he could have me and Chuck come down and do it. That was that and Harry has never lost a horse due to bad cutting since.”

Asked what he does differently, Holloway said, “We do it the old-fashioned way – the way cowboys did it a hundred years ago. We rope the horses for one thing. Squeeze chutes scare a horse half to death. We use oral penicillin, but we don’t use any drugs to knock a horse out. We make a small cut in the bag and remove the testicles. You have to make sure that you get the ‘stallion seed’ or you will have a male horse that still has the temperament of a stallion but is not functional. Then we flood the bag with kerosene and leave it open to drain. The kerosene stops the pain, holds down infection, and prevents scarring.”

Chuck Holloway heads an impressive list of cowboys that worked as ropers in the pens. Brad Churchill, Mark Bukowski, Scotty Hall, Gail Allen, Rick Tune and Gary Hall are among those who handled the roping duties and there were too many good cowboys working the ground crew to list.

I asked Mark Bukowski, a director for the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA), about the differences in roping horses and cattle, Mark said, “It’s basically the same in that you head and heel them both, but cattle are slower and when you catch them, you get a brute force reaction. With a horse, not only are they faster, but they change direction quicker. When you do catch them, they are strong and they are everywhere – it’s like having a marlin on the end of your rope. Also, you need to make sure you are riding a calm horse that has been used for horse work before. Horses are herd animals and what they see and hear in the pen can make them real jumpy.”

The Vold Ranch is a special place because of the family and the rodeo history that is there, but what really makes it special is the respect that these top working cowboys give to Harry Vold, “The Duke of the Chutes.”

The moment you cross the Huerfano River in southeastern Colorado and pull up to the red gate, you know you are about to enter a special place. On the fence is the iconic black metal sign of the bucking horse and the HV brand of Harry Vold. If you look closer you will see a metal plaque that reads “Two Champs – Ty Murray on Bobby Joe Skoal.” The sign was presented to Harry Vold at his induction into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1994.

A little farther down the ranch road you will see the well known Rattlesnake Butte sign. As you pull up to the ranch house you see the famous black parade horses of the National Finals Rodeo and Harry’s black arena horse.

Entering the Vold house is like entering a museum. Everywhere you look there are trophies, pictures and memories of Harry Vold’s 60 years in professional rodeo. Prominently displayed in the center of one room is a table that has glass on top of a wooden wagon wheel. Between the spokes of the wheel are trophy buckles that Harry and Karen Vold have won over the years. On one wall are nine of the silver accented halters that the PRCA awards to the Bucking Horse of the Year.

As you come in the front door there is a glass topped coffee table holding the 11 buckles that the PRCA has awarded to Harry Vold as the Stock Contractor of the Year. There are two mounted heads in tribute to exceptional bucking bulls that Harry has owned – 777, the 1979 and 1980 PRCA Bull of the Year, and Crooked Nose, the best known and most feared fighting bull in the PRCA.

Harry Vold has been named PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year 11 times. You do not get to that level without having a consistent string of bucking horses available for major rodeos. “We are never sure what we are going to get in a foal,” Harry says, “You’re never sure what’s on a horse’s mind. It takes a certain kind of horse to be a bucker. Consistency is everything in a bucking horse. A lot of horses will buck once and never buck again. They have to want to buck and those that do really enjoy it. There’s only a handful that really turn out.”

But Harry has to keep searching for those really good buckers. This year, 75 stallions that are 1 and 2 years old started the process of auditioning to join the Vold Rodeo Company.

For two or three years the colts have been running free, without too much human intervention, on one of the large pastures on the Vold Ranch. Now it is time to start earning the investment that Harry has in them.

Harry Vold makes all the decisions regarding which horses are to be left intact for future breeding and which will be gelded or “cut.” Currently there are seven breeding stallions on the ranch. All of the 75 colts gathered up today will leave as geldings.

When there is a big job to do on a ranch, it is not unusual for friends to come in and help. What makes Harry Vold’s branding such an event is that the friends that come in to help are some of the top working cowboys in the country.

Johnny Holloway and his son Chuck Holloway came down from South Dakota. Johnny Holloway will be gelding or “cutting” the colts today. Asked about how he got started with the Volds, Johnny Holloway said, “I’ve know Harry for a long time, and about 10 or so years ago, he called me up and was real sad because he had a vet out doing some cutting for him and the vet had given his horses something real strong to put them down so he could work on them and three of them never got up.” Holloway continued, “Harry said that he didn’t know what to do because he couldn’t keep having this kind of loss. I told him he could have me and Chuck come down and do it. That was that and Harry has never lost a horse due to bad cutting since.”

Asked what he does differently, Holloway said, “We do it the old-fashioned way – the way cowboys did it a hundred years ago. We rope the horses for one thing. Squeeze chutes scare a horse half to death. We use oral penicillin, but we don’t use any drugs to knock a horse out. We make a small cut in the bag and remove the testicles. You have to make sure that you get the ‘stallion seed’ or you will have a male horse that still has the temperament of a stallion but is not functional. Then we flood the bag with kerosene and leave it open to drain. The kerosene stops the pain, holds down infection, and prevents scarring.”

Chuck Holloway heads an impressive list of cowboys that worked as ropers in the pens. Brad Churchill, Mark Bukowski, Scotty Hall, Gail Allen, Rick Tune and Gary Hall are among those who handled the roping duties and there were too many good cowboys working the ground crew to list.

I asked Mark Bukowski, a director for the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA), about the differences in roping horses and cattle, Mark said, “It’s basically the same in that you head and heel them both, but cattle are slower and when you catch them, you get a brute force reaction. With a horse, not only are they faster, but they change direction quicker. When you do catch them, they are strong and they are everywhere – it’s like having a marlin on the end of your rope. Also, you need to make sure you are riding a calm horse that has been used for horse work before. Horses are herd animals and what they see and hear in the pen can make them real jumpy.”

The Vold Ranch is a special place because of the family and the rodeo history that is there, but what really makes it special is the respect that these top working cowboys give to Harry Vold, “The Duke of the Chutes.”

The moment you cross the Huerfano River in southeastern Colorado and pull up to the red gate, you know you are about to enter a special place. On the fence is the iconic black metal sign of the bucking horse and the HV brand of Harry Vold. If you look closer you will see a metal plaque that reads “Two Champs – Ty Murray on Bobby Joe Skoal.” The sign was presented to Harry Vold at his induction into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1994.

A little farther down the ranch road you will see the well known Rattlesnake Butte sign. As you pull up to the ranch house you see the famous black parade horses of the National Finals Rodeo and Harry’s black arena horse.

Entering the Vold house is like entering a museum. Everywhere you look there are trophies, pictures and memories of Harry Vold’s 60 years in professional rodeo. Prominently displayed in the center of one room is a table that has glass on top of a wooden wagon wheel. Between the spokes of the wheel are trophy buckles that Harry and Karen Vold have won over the years. On one wall are nine of the silver accented halters that the PRCA awards to the Bucking Horse of the Year.

As you come in the front door there is a glass topped coffee table holding the 11 buckles that the PRCA has awarded to Harry Vold as the Stock Contractor of the Year. There are two mounted heads in tribute to exceptional bucking bulls that Harry has owned – 777, the 1979 and 1980 PRCA Bull of the Year, and Crooked Nose, the best known and most feared fighting bull in the PRCA.

Harry Vold has been named PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year 11 times. You do not get to that level without having a consistent string of bucking horses available for major rodeos. “We are never sure what we are going to get in a foal,” Harry says, “You’re never sure what’s on a horse’s mind. It takes a certain kind of horse to be a bucker. Consistency is everything in a bucking horse. A lot of horses will buck once and never buck again. They have to want to buck and those that do really enjoy it. There’s only a handful that really turn out.”

But Harry has to keep searching for those really good buckers. This year, 75 stallions that are 1 and 2 years old started the process of auditioning to join the Vold Rodeo Company.

For two or three years the colts have been running free, without too much human intervention, on one of the large pastures on the Vold Ranch. Now it is time to start earning the investment that Harry has in them.

Harry Vold makes all the decisions regarding which horses are to be left intact for future breeding and which will be gelded or “cut.” Currently there are seven breeding stallions on the ranch. All of the 75 colts gathered up today will leave as geldings.

When there is a big job to do on a ranch, it is not unusual for friends to come in and help. What makes Harry Vold’s branding such an event is that the friends that come in to help are some of the top working cowboys in the country.

Johnny Holloway and his son Chuck Holloway came down from South Dakota. Johnny Holloway will be gelding or “cutting” the colts today. Asked about how he got started with the Volds, Johnny Holloway said, “I’ve know Harry for a long time, and about 10 or so years ago, he called me up and was real sad because he had a vet out doing some cutting for him and the vet had given his horses something real strong to put them down so he could work on them and three of them never got up.” Holloway continued, “Harry said that he didn’t know what to do because he couldn’t keep having this kind of loss. I told him he could have me and Chuck come down and do it. That was that and Harry has never lost a horse due to bad cutting since.”

Asked what he does differently, Holloway said, “We do it the old-fashioned way – the way cowboys did it a hundred years ago. We rope the horses for one thing. Squeeze chutes scare a horse half to death. We use oral penicillin, but we don’t use any drugs to knock a horse out. We make a small cut in the bag and remove the testicles. You have to make sure that you get the ‘stallion seed’ or you will have a male horse that still has the temperament of a stallion but is not functional. Then we flood the bag with kerosene and leave it open to drain. The kerosene stops the pain, holds down infection, and prevents scarring.”

Chuck Holloway heads an impressive list of cowboys that worked as ropers in the pens. Brad Churchill, Mark Bukowski, Scotty Hall, Gail Allen, Rick Tune and Gary Hall are among those who handled the roping duties and there were too many good cowboys working the ground crew to list.

I asked Mark Bukowski, a director for the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA), about the differences in roping horses and cattle, Mark said, “It’s basically the same in that you head and heel them both, but cattle are slower and when you catch them, you get a brute force reaction. With a horse, not only are they faster, but they change direction quicker. When you do catch them, they are strong and they are everywhere – it’s like having a marlin on the end of your rope. Also, you need to make sure you are riding a calm horse that has been used for horse work before. Horses are herd animals and what they see and hear in the pen can make them real jumpy.”

The Vold Ranch is a special place because of the family and the rodeo history that is there, but what really makes it special is the respect that these top working cowboys give to Harry Vold, “The Duke of the Chutes.”

The moment you cross the Huerfano River in southeastern Colorado and pull up to the red gate, you know you are about to enter a special place. On the fence is the iconic black metal sign of the bucking horse and the HV brand of Harry Vold. If you look closer you will see a metal plaque that reads “Two Champs – Ty Murray on Bobby Joe Skoal.” The sign was presented to Harry Vold at his induction into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1994.

A little farther down the ranch road you will see the well known Rattlesnake Butte sign. As you pull up to the ranch house you see the famous black parade horses of the National Finals Rodeo and Harry’s black arena horse.

Entering the Vold house is like entering a museum. Everywhere you look there are trophies, pictures and memories of Harry Vold’s 60 years in professional rodeo. Prominently displayed in the center of one room is a table that has glass on top of a wooden wagon wheel. Between the spokes of the wheel are trophy buckles that Harry and Karen Vold have won over the years. On one wall are nine of the silver accented halters that the PRCA awards to the Bucking Horse of the Year.

As you come in the front door there is a glass topped coffee table holding the 11 buckles that the PRCA has awarded to Harry Vold as the Stock Contractor of the Year. There are two mounted heads in tribute to exceptional bucking bulls that Harry has owned – 777, the 1979 and 1980 PRCA Bull of the Year, and Crooked Nose, the best known and most feared fighting bull in the PRCA.

Harry Vold has been named PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year 11 times. You do not get to that level without having a consistent string of bucking horses available for major rodeos. “We are never sure what we are going to get in a foal,” Harry says, “You’re never sure what’s on a horse’s mind. It takes a certain kind of horse to be a bucker. Consistency is everything in a bucking horse. A lot of horses will buck once and never buck again. They have to want to buck and those that do really enjoy it. There’s only a handful that really turn out.”

But Harry has to keep searching for those really good buckers. This year, 75 stallions that are 1 and 2 years old started the process of auditioning to join the Vold Rodeo Company.

For two or three years the colts have been running free, without too much human intervention, on one of the large pastures on the Vold Ranch. Now it is time to start earning the investment that Harry has in them.

Harry Vold makes all the decisions regarding which horses are to be left intact for future breeding and which will be gelded or “cut.” Currently there are seven breeding stallions on the ranch. All of the 75 colts gathered up today will leave as geldings.

When there is a big job to do on a ranch, it is not unusual for friends to come in and help. What makes Harry Vold’s branding such an event is that the friends that come in to help are some of the top working cowboys in the country.

Johnny Holloway and his son Chuck Holloway came down from South Dakota. Johnny Holloway will be gelding or “cutting” the colts today. Asked about how he got started with the Volds, Johnny Holloway said, “I’ve know Harry for a long time, and about 10 or so years ago, he called me up and was real sad because he had a vet out doing some cutting for him and the vet had given his horses something real strong to put them down so he could work on them and three of them never got up.” Holloway continued, “Harry said that he didn’t know what to do because he couldn’t keep having this kind of loss. I told him he could have me and Chuck come down and do it. That was that and Harry has never lost a horse due to bad cutting since.”

Asked what he does differently, Holloway said, “We do it the old-fashioned way – the way cowboys did it a hundred years ago. We rope the horses for one thing. Squeeze chutes scare a horse half to death. We use oral penicillin, but we don’t use any drugs to knock a horse out. We make a small cut in the bag and remove the testicles. You have to make sure that you get the ‘stallion seed’ or you will have a male horse that still has the temperament of a stallion but is not functional. Then we flood the bag with kerosene and leave it open to drain. The kerosene stops the pain, holds down infection, and prevents scarring.”

Chuck Holloway heads an impressive list of cowboys that worked as ropers in the pens. Brad Churchill, Mark Bukowski, Scotty Hall, Gail Allen, Rick Tune and Gary Hall are among those who handled the roping duties and there were too many good cowboys working the ground crew to list.

I asked Mark Bukowski, a director for the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA), about the differences in roping horses and cattle, Mark said, “It’s basically the same in that you head and heel them both, but cattle are slower and when you catch them, you get a brute force reaction. With a horse, not only are they faster, but they change direction quicker. When you do catch them, they are strong and they are everywhere – it’s like having a marlin on the end of your rope. Also, you need to make sure you are riding a calm horse that has been used for horse work before. Horses are herd animals and what they see and hear in the pen can make them real jumpy.”

The Vold Ranch is a special place because of the family and the rodeo history that is there, but what really makes it special is the respect that these top working cowboys give to Harry Vold, “The Duke of the Chutes.”

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